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Business Intelligence 2012-2013 Review

The last fiscal year saw a marked increase in spend on business intelligence projects.

Dan Sommer, principal analyst at Gartner, says:

“Business Intelligence and analytics have grown to become the fourth-largest application software segment as end users continue to prioritise Business Intelligence and information-centric projects and spending to improve decision making and analysis.”

A prime example of this growth can be seen within consulting  firms’ increase in project revenue from strategies taken through to enterprise delivery. Within just one  major BI Practice serving the entire UK market, for example, the number increased from 17 distinct client projects, earning £7m in January 2012, to 28 projects with total revenue of £11m in January 2013 (SOURCE: Withheld)

Graph of Management Consultancies in January 2012 and January 2013

Figure 1.0: Management Consultancies in January 2012 and January 2013

Consulting firms’ desire  to hire has nonetheless been restrained over the last year and whilst approximately 22% have been new hires, the remaining 78% of hires have been replacements (SOURCE: aggregate of hires made with consulting clients, from big-4 firms through to BI boutiques). This sudden increase in the amount of client business strategies taken through to delivery has largely been met with greater workload for individuals. In more cases than was the case during previous years, projects have taken longer to completion. This, coupled with continuing strong client demand, is just now, resulting in a dramatic rise in recruitment drives within these Management Consultancies. The large professional service consultancies are a prime example of this and, during the final weeks of Q1 2013, many have seen a sudden increase in recruitment within their business intelligence specialist practices, with a number looking to increase head count by as much as 50% over the next year.

End-user organisations are experiencing different trends. The increase in outsourcing BI solution delivery is noted above and the new roles that have emerged across end-user organisations in the last year have been characterised by a tendency to merge Data Management and Business Intelligence roles into one. A notable area of growth has been within  Media and Marketing businesses, involving both internal BI enhancement work and external service provision,  with several offering more and more of the BI work traditionally delivered by systems integrators, as a complement to their analytics offerings.

We expect to be reporting very significant growth in the BI market over the next year; there are no signs of a slowdown in the pipeline of new BI projects. There has also very recently  been more talk of hiring BI specialists into end-user businesses but how this unfolds and whether it gets anywhere close to keeping pace with the relative increase in demand in consulting, only time will tell.

Watch this space…
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